With Razer gorgeous strip of Razer’s signature Chroma RGB lighting stamped beneath and multitude of utilitarian buttons, it ticks the boxes for both stylish and functional it’s only compatible with Windows 8 and 10 on PC, contrary to Microsoft’s surprisingly continued support for Windows 7 with the Xbox Elite. Without doing a bit of digging ahead of schedule, you might also assume this is a controller you can use wired and wirelessly because, well, you can with Microsoft’s.
That’s not the case here. Instead, the Razer Wolverine Ultimate requires that you use its own included 10-foot, braided micro USB cable or one like it that happens to fit inside its hollowed-out charging port cubby. That’s such a major disappointment and sticking point for us because the rest of the controller feels tight and painstakingly well thought-out.
From its magnetic, interchangeable buttons to its media control keys and 3.5mm audio jack located along the bottom interface, everything about the Razer Wolverine Ultimate controller feels intentional and meticulously tested by people who play games rather than being solely devised by a corporate R&D team.
We get that a vocal minority of players using a gamepad this exuberantly priced are opposed to using wireless controllers to experience their various heated gaming moments. Although, due to the lower latency wired gamepads bring, most people don’t only play competitive multiplayer games.
If you’re partaking in a primarily single-player experience like Cuphead or ReCore, for example, from the comfort of your own bed, we could see how being tethered to a microUSB cable would be downright frustrating but ruling the controller out because it’s not wireless would be a massive mistake.
Whereas the first-party Xbox One gamepad comes with the exact same face buttons as a standard controller, the Razer Wolverine’s button at least the ones labeled A, B, X and Y click more like a mouse which, if you think about it, makes complete sense for a company that specializes in PC gaming peripherals.
Where Razer’s controller falters is that, of the six buttons you can remove and replace on the Razer Wolverine Ultimate, three of them are the same.
That’s right, three concave thumbsticks and only one convex one come bundled in the Wolverine Ultimate’s carrying case. Why there aren’t an even number of both is curious considering only two can be used at a time.
The d-pads that come with the controller are much more practical. One has four separated, spaced out buttons, a la the DualShock 4, while the other d-pad is similar to existing Xbox One controllers, save for it being seated atop a circular plane.
There are a pair of extra rear buttons, two tigger-stoppers and four macro paddles resting on the back of the Razer Wolverine Ultimate.
These can come in handy, particularly in first-person shooters like Halo 5: Guardians where you may need to access commands more swiftly or execute a rapid-fire without the need to suppress your right trigger.
Then there’s the Razer Synapse software for Xbox One. PC users sporting any Razer product will be familiar with this, if only because it’s how you configure that flashy Chroma lighting across all of the company’s accessories.
Now you can remap buttons, cycle profiles and do just about everything else that could more easily be accomplished on the controller’s media keys, but on a TV connected to your Xbox.